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Egg Size Variation in Aedes aegypti: Relationship to Body Size and Other Variables

Kurt Steinwascher
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 112, No. 1 (Jul., 1984), pp. 76-84
DOI: 10.2307/2425459
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425459
Page Count: 9
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Egg Size Variation in Aedes aegypti: Relationship to Body Size and Other Variables
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Abstract

Egg size variation among female mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) is documented. Females hatching from large eggs grow faster, attain a larger adult size, take larger blood meals, lay more and larger eggs than females hatching from small eggs. This cycle is self-perpetuating; offspring of large females have a high probability of attaining a large size. Three factors oppose selection for large egg size by this apparently deterministic cycle: (1) Smaller and slower-growing females may also produce large eggs under some circumstances; (2) genetic differences among sibships are more important than differences in egg size; (3) there is no effect of body size on the reproductive success of males, so males pass on genetic material which has not been size-selected. It does not appear that there is an optimal egg size within the limits of observed egg sizes.

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